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Micaela Roughton, Founder & Chair

Micaela Roughton first travelled to a developing nation as part of a high school experiential learning

trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico. Confronted by abject poverty, her future career plans as a chemical

engineer fell away in pursuit of an education that would provide tools to confront global inequality.

Micaela enrolled in the University of Toronto’s International Development Program later focusing her

efforts on African Studies and Political Science. Following her graduation in 2008, she secured an

internship with the Centre for International Health at the University of Toronto. Through this project

she spent her summer in Lusaka, Zambia examining the relationship between gender and HIV/AIDS

among university students.


While in Zambia Micaela spent time volunteering at the Nyumba Yanga Orphanage.  The girls at the

Orphanage quickly became close to her heart. As her relationship with the Sisters at Nyumba Yanga

grew, Micaela was discouraged to learn that despite its vital role in the lives of these young girls, the

Orphanage had no sources of long-term financial support. Many of the girls were not even able to

attend school at the time, based on a lack of funds.  This situation led to the birth of Homes of Joy,

whereby once Micaela returned home to Canada she worked closely with her friend Ab Lelievre to

found the organization in order to support the girls at Nyumba Yanga, (and as of 2017, the girls at

Future in My Hands too).


Since founding Homes of Joy, Micaela’s passion for social justice has grown, leading her to complete

her Master’s Degree in Gender and International Development and focusing her research on

“Representing the Girl Child with Dignity.” Along with her work for Homes of Joy, Micaela also

volunteers as a Team Leader with Habitat for Humanity Global Village; leading teams of Canadians

to developing countries in order to construct homes and experience firsthand the reality of how the

majority of the world lives.

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